McClatchy Names New Publishers in Wichita, Columbus and Rock Hill
The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) today named three new publishers at its newspapers in Wichita, Kan., Columbus, Ga., and Rock Hill, S.C.
Pam Siddall has been named president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle. Since 2004, Siddall has served as president and publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga. She replaces Lou Heldman, who retired in September.
Valerie D. Canepa will replace Siddall as president and publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer. Since 2003, Canepa has served as president and publisher of The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C.
Debbie Abels will replace Canepa as president and publisher of The Herald. Abels has worked at the McClatchy-owned Charlotte Observer for 34 years. Since February, she has served as director of advertising operations and strategy.
The appointments are effective immediately.
"These are three proven leaders with distinguished records in this industry and in their communities," said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive officer. "It's especially gratifying to promote from within McClatchy and have such talented executives ready to step up and help guide these newspapers into the future."
Siddall, 39, began her newspaper career with Knight Ridder in 1997 as chief financial officer of the Ledger-Enquirer. In 2001, she joined The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., as CFO and was later promoted to vice president and CFO responsible for circulation, finance and building services. In 2003, she was promoted to vice president and general manager of the Ledger-Enquirer and in 2004 was promoted to president and publisher.
Siddall was born and raised in Phenix City, Ala., and moved across the Chattahoochee River and state line to Columbus, Ga., in 1999. Siddall is a summa cum laude graduate of Columbus State University, where she earned an accounting degree. She is a certified public accountant in Alabama and Georgia. Before her newspaper career, Siddall held several high-level finance positions within W.C. Bradley Co. and Russell Corp.
"Pam is a seasoned executive with a record of strong ties to employees and the community she serves," said Bob Weil, McClatchy vice president, operations, who oversees the company's newspapers in the Midwest and Northwest. "She has impressed us with her sharp mind and commitment to quality journalism. The Wichita Eagle will be in good hands under her stewardship."
"It is an honor and a privilege to be the next publisher in Wichita," said Siddall. "The Eagle's employees are among the most innovative and hardworking folks in the business. Together, we will seize the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead."
In Columbus, Siddall has been active in many civic organizations. Currently, she serves on the boards of the United Way, Springer Opera House, Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation, where she is a treasurer. She chairs the Knight Foundation Advisory Committee and is a member of the administrative board at St. Luke United Methodist Church, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce workforce development committee, and Chattahoochee Valley Community College's Foundation and is active in the Civilian and Military Council. Siddall and her husband, Greg, have two daughters, Haley, 12, and Annika, 6.
Canepa, 48, joined McClatchy in 1995 as an assistant metro editor of The Fresno Bee. She became editor of community publications two years later and, in 2001, was promoted to director. In 2003, she was named president and publisher of The Herald.
Canepa was born in Topeka, Kan., and raised in Arkansas. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism. She worked in advertising and publishing in San Francisco before becoming a reporter at the Arkansas Gazette in 1988. She worked as a police reporter for the Rochester Times-Union and as a federal courts reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in New York before being named assistant metro editor for the Rochester papers in 1994.
"Valerie is a terrific human being as well as a dedicated, hardworking newspaper executive," said Lynn Dickerson, McClatchy vice president, operations, who oversees McClatchy newspapers in Texas and the South, including the Ledger-Enquirer and The Herald. "I have no doubt Valerie will be just as successful in Columbus as she has been in Rock Hill."
"The Ledger-Enquirer is a terrific newspaper known for innovation and community service, and I'm honored to join the team," said Canepa. "I grew up in a military family, so being able to serve Fort Benning makes the opportunity especially appealing to me."
Canepa serves on several community boards in Rock Hill, including the York Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City Club of Rock Hill, the Arts Council of Rock Hill and the Rock Hill Rotary Club. She taught editing as an adjunct professor at Fresno State University and served as a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) in Fresno before moving to Rock Hill. She won two California Newspaper Publishers Association awards for editorial writing while overseeing the Fresno community publications. She is married to Mark Canepa, an attorney in Charlotte, N.C.
Abels, 55, began her career at The Charlotte Observer in 1973 as an ad assistant in classified advertising. From 1974 to 2004, she worked in human resources, rising to vice president of human resources. From 2004 to 2006, she worked as director of circulation distribution. In 2006 she was named interim classified advertising director. In February 2007, she was named director of advertising operations and strategy.
Abels was born and raised in New York City. She holds a bachelor's degree in music from Duke University and was a cellist with the Western Piedmont Symphony for 10 years.
As president and publisher of The Herald, Abels will oversee the paper's affiliated community publications: the Enquirer-Herald, the Fort Mill Times and the Lake Wylie Pilot.
"Debbie has a very broad background and has succeeded in every job she has held at the Observer," said Dickerson. "She is uniquely qualified to take over as the new publisher in Rock Hill. Her team-building skills are proven and she will undoubtedly help The Herald continue its winning ways."
"I am thrilled to be joining The Herald and its weekly publications," said Abels. "The papers have been recognized for journalistic excellence and are beloved in the communities they serve. I've gotten to know many of The Herald's employees since the Observer joined McClatchy. They are first rate. It's an honor to be a part of their future."
Abels has served on the boards of several Charlotte-area civic organizations. She is the vice chairman of the board at WDAV, the public radio station associated with Davidson College, and is a member of the board of Community School of the Arts, as well as the past board president. She is a member of the Symphony Guild of Charlotte and does volunteer work with the Charlotte Council for International Visitors and Community Connections/Business for Russia. That involvement has included participation in a State Department-funded team that traveled to Russia to teach management skills to non-profit and small business leaders. Abels and her husband, Wedge, have a 13-year-old daughter, Jennifer.
The McClatchy Company is the third-largest newspaper company in the United States, with 31 daily newspapers, approximately 50 non-dailies and direct marketing and direct mail operations. McClatchy also operates leading local websites in each of its markets which complement its newspapers and extend its audience reach in each market. Together with its newspapers and direct marketing products, these operations make McClatchy the leading local media company in each of its premium high growth markets. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
McClatchy also has a portfolio of premium digital assets. Its leading local websites offer users information, comprehensive news, advertising, e-commerce and other services. The company owns and operates McClatchy Interactive, an interactive operation that provides websites with content, publishing tools and software development. McClatchy operates Real Cities (http://www.RealCities.com), the largest national advertising network of local news websites and owns 14.4% of CareerBuilder, the nation's largest online job site. McClatchy also owns 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers classified websites such as the nation's No. 2 online auto website, cars.com, and the No. 1 rental site, apartments.com. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.